Monster behaviour

v2.3 introduces a new set of interesting behaviours among monsters to make them feel more alive and interesting.

Talking Monsters

You will find that some of the intelligent monsters will occasionally speak to you (and they will not generally say nice things…). While this is mostly for pure flavour/immersion, they will sometimes reveal information that is useful to you (such as commenting on another monster they have seen).

Goblin apprentice commenting on your unusual fighting style

Goblin apprentice commenting on your unusual fighting style

I have made an effort to make these conversations as interesting as possible by making the things they say highly contextual. There is a great variety of things they can say and it is almost always relevant to the situation (something about your status, the environment or location, their status etc). When a monster speaks a small animation will flash over it.

Neutral Monsters

Some monsters may be permanently or temporarily neutral towards you. That means that they won’t attack you or do anything harmful to you. Bumping into such a monster will just switch places with it. They may also bump into you to switch places with you. Sometimes this can be useful when other monsters are around.

You can still choose to attack a neutral monster, but this counts as aggravating just as if you were attacking an unconscious monster.

Examining a neutral dog. This dog won't do any hostile action towards you (for now...)

Examining a neutral dog. This dog won’t do any hostile action towards you (for now…)

There are some ways of making monsters neutral temporarily (but they will be hostile again after resting). I may also introduce more interesting things in the future regarding neutral monsters (they may provide services or having good or bad auras are ideas that comes to mind).

Neutral monsters are clearly marked by having a different background colour and a visible ‘n’ as status.

Greedy Monsters

Monsters that have hands (this happens to be the same monsters that can open doors) will now pick up items if they walk over them (but they won’t actively search for items). A monster may carry only one item at a time, and you can see if it is carrying an item by examining it. To get the item a monster is carrying, you have to kill it. A carried item will always be dropped if the monster dies.

This mechanic was already in place in the game (in aliens), but is now used by many monsters. It can be seen as a bit more incentive to kill a monster.

The same gobin apprentice is apparently carrying a wand that it will drop if it would die…



  1. Hype hype hype!
    In my “dream” roguelikes, animals mostly wouldn’t be hostile… unless you have to pass through their territories or, obviously, if you attack them.
    Having neutral monsters is much more immersive than having waves of critters without any survival instinct impaling unto you like in DCSS.
    I’d be really excited to be part of the testing team once again when you decide to pre-release 2.3. 🙂

    1. > In my “dream” roguelikes, animals mostly wouldn’t be hostile… unless you have to pass through their territories or, obviously, if you attack them.

      This used to be my dream as well and before TGGW I had intentions of making something like that. However, that would be more suitable for a much larger scope game, not in a small and focused dungeon (a large percentage of monsters in TGGW are animals).

      But indeed, animals have a higher chance than humans to be neutral. Mindless and undead are always hostile.

      > I’d be really excited to be part of the testing team once again when you decide to pre-release 2.3.

      You are very welcome to, I look forward to your feedback 🙂
      I will do something different this time though: I will put it up for download on the webpage so anyone who wants can playtest before the official release. I plan to put the test version up in the weekend or beginning of next week!

  2. This is great!

    Have you thought about adding a monster similar to kiwis in Powder – that is a powerful and dangerous monster generated very early on, but which is always generated neutral?

    1. That’s an interesting idea, but for that to make sense in TGGW that monster would have to have a very good drop. I’ll think about it! 🙂

  3. The talking goblin is a smart way to remind the player that maybe he is unintentionally bare-handed. I know that it can be a problem for players in Dungeon Mercenary. Smart thinking!

    1. I didn’t actually think of it that way. In TGGW its quite rare to be unintentionally unarmed. Also, it wouldn’t work since they talk rarely, and can say a lot of other things. But yeah… in another game perhaps 🙂

  4. I woke up this morning with an idea I think could be really cool!
    What if some intelligents monsters (mostly humannoids) now have a slight chance of behaving differently when they have low HP instead of just fleeing?
    They could have different behaviours, examples with a Goblin and a
    Knight :

    Goblin – when low HP:
    – 60 % : Flee (as usual)
    – 35 % : Beg for mercy, become Neutral
    – 5 % : Go berserk and fight to death

    Knight – when low HP:
    – 70 % : Flee (as usual)
    – 10 % :Beg for mercy, become Neutral
    – 20 % : Go berserk and fight to death

    Goblins or “dishonorable” monsters will then have a much higher chance of becoming agressive again after the player have rested and they themselves have recover full HP.
    More honorable monsters like Knight would stay neutral.

    The only incentive of killing monsters that have beg for mercy would be to take their item, which could be useful!

    What do you think?

    1. I like the idea, and as you will see, there is already something similar (but much simpler) in v2.3.

      I think your suggested system is (at least right now) too complex for TGGW-style. There are already different defense mechanisms that monsters use: some flee, some berserk, some paralyze (like turtles), others panic, and yes, there are monsters that become neutral now (well, actually there’s just one right now, but there might be more).

      I also think I prefer one defense mechanism per monster instead of the percentage system as you desribe (both because it’s easier to predict and because it’s easier to communicate).

      Thank you anyway for the idea, it is food for thought 🙂

      1. You’re right, it’s simpler. It’d be nice then to have several monsters becoming neutral when you dismay them, and whether remains like that or “betray” and become agressive again after resting.
        Well, I’ll test the beta version right now!

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